5 Mar 2012

Talks on French Polynesia public service collapse

6:34 am on 5 March 2012

Talks between France and French Polynesia on restructuring the public sector in Tahiti have collapsed.

The two sides were to revisit the conditions for France for it to release a 60 million US dollar loan, which is viewed as instrumental for the French Polynesian government to be able to meet its obligations.

However at the meeting in Papeete, the French Polynesian vice president, Antony Geros, retracted his earlier undertaking for the territory to sell its flagship property in Paris, claiming that France wants French Polynesia to cower and go down on its knees.

With the French high commissioner, Richard Didier, stating that he had represented the position held by Paris, Mr Geros suspended the negotiations amid hopes that a change of president in France will offer a way forward.

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, missed the meeting because he decided to visit an outer island.

The latest impasse comes amid a deepening economic crisis which has now also engulfed the public health sector.